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Celebrating our Teammates of the Year

Cel­e­brat­ing our 2023 Team­mates of the Year

The life-sav­ing work we do at Ken­neth Young Cen­ter is a direct reflec­tion of the incred­i­ble com­pas­sion of our team mem­bers. We were proud to hon­or and cel­e­brate some of our most exem­plary team mem­bers recent­ly as our 2023 Team­mates of the Year!

Each year, we name a Team­mate of the Year for each of our five orga­ni­za­tion­al divi­sions. Ken­neth Young Cen­ter staff are invit­ed to nom­i­nate some­one that they feel goes above and beyond to make a mean­ing­ful impact. Nom­i­na­tions are then shared with a review com­mit­tee, who select­ed the award recip­i­ents. We’re grate­ful for the work ALL of our teams do each day, and are espe­cial­ly hon­ored to cel­e­brate the ded­i­ca­tion, com­pas­sion, and kind­ness shared by this excep­tion­al group of team members.

Behav­ioral Health Out­pa­tient Ser­vices Team­mate of the Year: Rosio!

Rosio is our Man­ag­er of Path­ways to Suc­cess. Take a look at some of what her nom­i­na­tors had to say about her excep­tion­al work! 

Rose is an amaz­ing man­ag­er; she man­ages her team mem­bers with hon­esty and open­ness. She is always open to feed­back from super­vi­sors and team mem­bers. She is always avail­able to her col­leagues and makes sure that they feel sup­port­ed. She cares for the clients and their fam­i­lies and ensures that they are receiv­ing the best treat­ment pos­si­ble.”

Rose became the man­ag­er of a brand-new pro­gram to the State of IL and Ken­neth Young Cen­ter, and so far, has deliv­ered with excel­lence! She has attend­ed every meet­ing and train­ing to make sure her team mem­bers have all the nec­es­sary tools and updat­ed infor­ma­tion to do their jobs well. Rose has gone above and beyond to ensure the pro­gram is run­ning smooth­ly and to adapt to any new changes. Rose is great at prob­lem solv­ing and find­ing solu­tions to chal­lenges in order to achieve the best out­comes.”

Rose always strives for her team mem­bers to have all the tools and train­ing they need to serve clients in the best capac­i­ty. She is always avail­able via TEAMS, email, phone call or text to answer any ques­tions. She also pro­vides ther­a­peu­tic ser­vices to her indi­vid­ual clients with empa­thy, under­stand­ing, and care. I’ve known Rose since she was a SASS Coun­selor, then became the SASS Team Lead, then the Team Lead of Men­tor­ing and now Man­ag­er of Path­ways. She always strives to do more and grow professionally.”

Behav­ioral Health Revovery Ser­vices Team­mate of the Year: Tom!


Tom is our Drop-In Recov­ery Sup­port Spe­cial­ist Team Lead. Here are just some of the exam­ples of his incred­i­ble work!

Tom is a very hum­ble and hon­est man. He lis­tens to his staff and is always open to not only our ideas but the guests at the Drop-In Cen­ter too. He nev­er places him­self above any­one at all, but is a com­plete peer among us all, which is exact­ly what the job describes, but shows total super­vi­so­ry lead­er­ship all along the way.”

Get­ting through day to day with so many dif­fer­ent chal­lenges, per­son­al­i­ty issues, staff changes (such as when we get sick or a van is not avail­able for an excur­sion), and stay­ing with­in the bud­gets, time con­straints, and admin­is­tra­tive pro­to­cols, while always appear­ing cool and calm makes him such a ROCK for me.”

Tom is very bud­get aware. He has aware­ness of what excur­sions and foods the guests pick months ahead of time. He is fis­cal­ly aware how to bud­get through the months and car­ry through so that Drop-In is able to always give the guests great expe­ri­ences. Our num­bers of guests have increased great­ly in the past few months too, and the vari­ety of new types of things offered on the cal­en­dar also have got­ten more peo­ple to join. our Sun­day NAMI group has also grown very big, and some of those peo­ple now have become Drop-In mem­bers also. Tom also is the Bud­get Man­ag­er of the Schaum­berg NAMI, and many peo­ple find him online and he draws them to the Sun­day Meet­ings. If that all is not max­i­miz­ing” I don’t know what is!”

Com­mu­ni­ty Col­lab­o­ra­tions Team­mate of the Year: Nikki!

Nikki L

Nik­ki is our Com­mu­ni­ty Col­lab­o­ra­tions Team Lead. See what our KYC team­mates had to cel­e­brate about her mar­velous work! 

Nik­ki is one of the most open and trans­par­ent work­ers I have ever worked with. She is extreme­ly com­mu­nica­tive; I nev­er am left won­der­ing if what I need will get to me in time. She gets her requests to me ear­ly, she tells me exact­ly what and when she will be doing what she needs to do to be able to help me, and the fact that she is able to be that com­mu­nica­tive when she has so much work to do is astound­ing. For NWPF (North­west Pride Fest) she would always come up to the media office, check on all of us, offer as much sup­port as pos­si­ble, and was always cheery and moti­vat­ed. She also is extreme­ly hum­ble and always open to learn­ing more about the com­mu­ni­ty to bet­ter help the com­mu­ni­ty. She comes to many peo­ple for their per­spec­tives on top­ics, and that col­lab­o­ra­tion pro­motes pos­i­tiv­i­ty inside the work­place, and improves the work we are putting out.”

No mat­ter what the sit­u­a­tion is, no mat­ter how swamped Nik­ki is with work, she does every­thing in her pow­er to find the best solu­tion pos­si­ble. She will brain­storm and talk through ideas, take into account every­one else’s ideas, and then real­ly push for­ward the best solu­tion with every resource she has. If there is an issue that she feels she can resolve, she will do that. She will send email after email, call meet­ings with upper man­age­ment, call team meet­ings, call peo­ple, she will do EVERY­THING to resolve an issue. And that’s because she val­ues her cowork­ers and the work she does.”

Nik­ki is con­stant­ly try­ing to reach more peo­ple, work­ing with the media team to pro­mote every sin­gle thing we are doing, and try­ing to do it in a cost-effec­tive man­ner. She is always using the resources in the office and try­ing to find cre­ative ways to keep the com­mu­ni­ty engaged. And if there’s bare­ly any­thing to work with, she can still pull it off. But if she is giv­en a lot, she can do ALOT. NWPF this year was extreme­ly suc­cess­ful, and I tru­ly think it would not have been able to hap­pen at all with­out her cre­ative ways to max­i­mize every dol­lar she was given.”

Old­er Adults Team­mate of the Year: Jessica!

Jessica O

Jes­si­ca is our Advo­ca­cy & Sup­port Team Lead. Below are just some of the amaz­ing things she is accomplishing!

Jes­si­ca works HARD. The Meals pro­gram went through a peri­od where they were under­staffed, and Jes­si­ca made it a pri­or­i­ty to adjust her work AND per­son­al sched­ule to ensure her clients were get­ting the Meals they so need. She’s con­stant­ly think­ing of her clients and col­leagues to the point where I’ve seen her come in on a PTO day to help deliv­er meals. She is one who is HAP­PY all of the time and this is what our elder­ly clients need to see. Jes­si­ca has been in del­i­cate sit­u­a­tions when bring­ing meals to clients and han­dles it with ease.”

She’s con­stant­ly work­ing to find solu­tions when vol­un­teers can­cel, or employ­ees are out on PTO. Again, she had to work extra for a peri­od of time while employ­ees were out on leave or left the orga­ni­za­tion. Whether there are help­ing staff or not, she finds solu­tions on how to feed our seniors.”

The Meals pro­gram deliv­ers 3 meals a week, with frozen options so seniors are get­ting a meal every day. Obvi­ous­ly, this option max­i­mizes every dol­lar spent.”

Busi­ness Oper­a­tions Team­mate of the Year Sheri!


Sheri is our Senior Human Resources Gen­er­al­ist. Here are just a few extra­or­di­nary accom­plish­ments she achieved!

Sheri is always think­ing of oth­ers and strives to find ways to make oth­er staff’s lives eas­i­er. Even though she is in anoth­er depart­ment, she is the per­son I turn to when I need help across so many things. She is always kind, always recep­tive, and always help­ful. Some­how, she nev­er gets frus­trat­ed with me, or annoyed even if I have to ask the same thing mul­ti­ple times. She real­ly exem­pli­fies KYC staff cul­ture and why this is such a great place to work. The few times she does make a mis­take, she is open about it and works to imme­di­ate­ly resolve and ensure oth­ers are not affected.”

Sheri helps us serve more clients in so many ways. She has helped us become so much more effi­cient and now we serve more rep pay­ee clients by spend­ing less time on admin and sup­port work. Hav­ing her be able to help with Finance and HR is such a huge help.”

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Please join us in cel­e­brat­ing all our nom­i­nees and Team­mates of the Year! Our work could­n’t be done with­out them. Thank you to the many KYC staff mem­bers that help our com­mu­ni­ties thrive!

Togeth­er We Thrive

The Team­mate of the Year Awards are just one way that KYC strives to cel­e­brate our incred­i­ble team mem­bers. Learn more about how we cre­ate a pos­i­tive orga­ni­za­tion­al cul­ture for our teams here.

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